I have learned that there is a difference between meringues and meringues! It is said that meringues originate from the town of Merringen in Switzerland. The meringues available to buy are pretty dull in my opinion. It is quite easy to make meringues yourself so why buy?
Use areas for meringues are many, I myself like to make meringues and serve it with ice cream or gelato. Simply put, your own imagination is the limit 😊
Basically, you need 0.5 dl of sugar to each egg white, then you need to add a little acid, either lemon- or lime juice works fine. The acid helps to increase the volume in the egg whites faster and the batter becomes more stable.
You can also give the meringues a little color and different flavors by, for example, mixing in black sesame seeds or why not nuts or chocolate? Take a look at Flavoring tip at the end of this entry.
There are several ways to make meringues. Here I describe 3 ways I have tried with different results. Please take a look at General Tips at the end of this entry.
Three different ways to whip the meringue:
Cold-whipped meringue. You can either add the sugar by mixing it at the end or adding it a little at a time while whisking.
1 – Whisk the whites to hard foam then add the sugar a little at a time and fold it in.
Result: the meringue needs to be baked at once and becomes brittle and fragile.
2 – Whisk egg whites with acid (lemon, lime or acetic acid) then add the sugar under constant whisking.
Result: A more stable batter and some tough meringues.
You temper the whites over the water bath before whisking it.
Mix the whites with the acid and sugar, temper it over the water bath so that the “batter” comes up to 60 – 70 degrees (Celsius) Take it from the heat and whisk it vigorously into a glossy, thick and gluey mass. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days before being baking.
Result: Shiny and fine and very stable meringues.
Make a syrup and heat it to 120 degrees (Celsius). Beat the whites together with acid and then whisk in the syrup that you pour while whisking. Whisk until the batter has cooled.
Syrup: 1 dl water + 3 1/3 dl sugar. Boiled to 120 degrees (Celsius).
Result: very stable batter that you can shape in various forms. Soft when you remove it from the oven but becomes brittle when they have cooled down. The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days.
My recipe according to the Swiss method gives about 30 – 40 meringues (depending on size)
4 egg whites
2 tsp pressed lime (can be replaced with pressed lemon)
2 dl of sugar
1 – 2 tbsp of black sesame seeds
- Heat the oven to 100 degrees (Celsius).
- Pour some water into a saucepan and place a stainless steel bowl on top.
- Pour in the egg whites, sugar and 2 teaspoons of pressed lemon or lime. Whisk until everything has mixed well.
- Heat it up until the “batter” reaches 60 – 70 degrees (Celsius).
- Remove the bowl, whisk until the egg whites increase in volume and get a fairly solid consistency. Add different flavors such as black sesame seeds, nuts, etc. – gently fold these into the solid mass.
- Pour the egg whites into a large piping bag.
- Put parchment paper in a baking dish and form the meringues in the desired shape.
- Bake it in the oven for 1 hour, turn off the heat, air the oven by opening the door for about 1 minute – close the oven door again and leave the meringues for another hour. The meringues are ready when they release the parchment paper easily.
Store the meringues dry and airy.
- The vessel you use must be clean and dry, a little oil can ruin the result!
- Preferably use stainless steel vessel.
- Let the eggs be tempered in the room.
- Bake in low temperature (100 degrees Celsius) for 1 hour, turn off the oven, let go of the air for a short time and leave the meringues for another hour. Convection oven (100 degrees Celsius) shortens the time slightly. Experiment.
- If you want more color on the meringues, you can start at a higher temperature (eg 150 Celsius) for 15 – 20 minutes and then lower the heat to 100.
- The meringues are ready when they let go of the parchment paper easily. The longer baking time, the more brittle meringues.
- Ready meringues are stored dry and airy.
- You can have many flavors in the meringue mix, what one needs to keep in mind is that the different flavors must fit in a piping bag so that it does not get stuck.
- Different kinds of chocolate; chopped and folded into the batter
- Instant coffee is turned into the batter.
- Different kinds of berries (small and solid) e.g.: lingonberry, raspberry, blueberry, red or black currant, folded into the batter
- Nuts, chopped and folded into the batter. If you want more flavor, you can roast the nuts before.
- Different types of seeds such as regular sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, fold into the batter. For more flavor roast them before.
- The grated shell of citrus fruits, fold into the batter.
- Different varieties of jam or fruit purees, fold into the batter.
- You can also flavor by adding different kinds of sugars, sieve the sugars before mixing in, as some sugars may have lumps.